(Written & photograph taken by Katherine Williams)
Marcus Grey was interviewed by Mareeba Communications Officer Katherine Williams about his 30+ year MAF career. This story is written just about his early years.
When did you know what you wanted to do with your life?
I always think it’s so hard for 16 year olds to choose their school subjects as how can they possibly know what they want to do when they are so young!
This was not the case for Marcus, he knew at 5 years old that God wanted him to become a pilot. He describes God talking to him whilst in Sunday school, and from that point on he made all his decisions based on becoming a pilot. He had also given his life to Jesus that year and from that time, never doubted that being a pilot for Jesus was his future.
This is how Marcus’ incredible MAF journey began and whenever problems occurred on his journey, God performed miracles to ensure that Marcus was able to fulfil his journey. At 10 years old, Marcus was playing with his brother and managed to get a biro stuck in his left eye. Whilst his family doctor was not too concerned, he decided to send him to the Australian Eye & Ear Hospital just to be sure all would be ok. One look from the doctors at the hospital confirmed that the iris had been penetrated and surgery was immediately needed. Marcus explains “the number of miracles that happened was amazing!”
Marcus was given a 50/50 chance of ever seeing from his left eye again, to which he replied “but I want to be a pilot” and the doctor explained that this would not happen, but on that day amazingly the best microsurgeon in the Southern Hemisphere was making an impromptu visit and ended up operating on Marcus and was able to successfully operate and eventually give Marcus better vision in his left eye than his right. Praise God!
Then at 12 years old, Marcus’ youth group went to a youth rally in the city where Max Myers, CEO of MAF Australia was speaking. Marcus describes him as “one of the legends of MAF”. He talked of missionary service and giving your life to full time service. Marcus answered that call and went up to the front to talk to Max, which was a really brave move at just 12 years old. Marcus told Max what God had planned for him and Max encouraged him to keep going, keep studying, to keep working his way through high school and to just do what is best for a pilot to do and to keep in contact with MAF, which Marcus did through High school
This led on to Marcus applying to study aeronautical engineering at RMIT. The process was to apply for nine courses in order of preference, but Marcus did not do that. He chose one course only, as God had lead him to do, which he was accepted into. The lecturers later told him had never been done before.
Marcus was also noticing girls by this stage in his life and met Julie at Youth Group, but thought she was a little “out of his league”, but by the time Marcus was in University, their relationship became serious and they decided in his third year that they wanted to get married. So Marcus says “I managed to negotiate my way out of the degree and got my diploma and graduated at the end of my third year. And then we just started on our family life.”
Julie had also always wanted to become a missionary but was unsure of her route to get there, so they joined together as husband and wife as well as in their passion to become an MAF Pilot missionary and went ahead together to make that happen. What an incredible story of faith and love.
(Please message if you would like a copy of Marcus Grey's full interview)